Small children tend to go through phases of
picky eating. Try to offer a wide variety of fun, nutritious choices. Don't
force your child to eat.
Don't restrict fat in the diet of children younger than age 2. Most children need whole milk between 1 and 2 years of age. But your doctor may recommend 2% milk if your child is overweight or if there is a family history of obesity, high blood pressure, or heart disease. Over the age of 2, serve fat-free or low-fat milk.
To increase the enjoyment and
acceptance of nutritious snacks, let your child help prepare them. Here are
a few creative snack ideas:
- Ants on a log: Celery stick stuffed with peanut
butter and topped with raisins.
- Pretzel pops: Cubed cheese on a pretzel
kebabs: Toothpicks lined with your child's favorite fruits—canned or fresh.
- Smudgies: Blend 1½ cups milk with ½ cup peanut butter
and 1 package of instant pudding—chocolate or vanilla. Beat well,
then let stand for 5 minutes. Spread filling ½-inch thick on graham cracker
square. Top with another graham cracker square and then freeze until firm—about
3 hours. Makes 12.
- English muffin pizza: Halve an English muffin, spread pizza
sauce on top, sprinkle with cheese, then bake at 350°F (177°C) until cheese
- Bagel bites: Slice
flavored bagels thin, like coins, and place on a baking sheet. Spray them
lightly with olive oil and bake at 400°F (204°C) for 10
milk shake: Blend together ½ cup strawberry or vanilla yogurt, ½ cup frozen strawberries (frozen
without added sugar), and 1 teaspoon lemon juice.
Growth and Development, Ages 2 to 5 Years
Healthy Eating for Children
Helping the Overweight Child